Cross Bodice Jumpsuit

I made up this pattern in my Advanced Pattern making class that I have been taking at Portland Fashion Institute as a part of my first collection for my label Love, Stephanie.

 

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I got about 4 yards of a lovely silk twill-like material that had just the right amount of drape to it without being sheer or flimsy.

I love how easy and free-flowing this jumpsuit looks and feels:

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It was a fairly easy design to create. I made a cross bodice top with a back zipper opening, drafted a long sleeve with a wider sleeve hem, made a wide leg palazzo pant, and sewed them together at the waist and added elastic. I then whipped up a simple sash and tied it loosely at the waist Boom! Done!

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I have been admiring the whole jumpsuit trend and have been saving up inspiration photos on Pinterest:

Love it! I can now take what I have made and create different versions of it; narrower leg, sleeveless, halter top, all kinds of fun and fashionable looks. Sew exciting!!

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more custom designs from me!

Love,

Stephanie

 

 

 

Animal Print Brocade Holiday Party Dress

I love this dress! I thought it would be too poofy and make me look bigger than I would like to look, but after wearing it, I was OK with the poof.

 

V1434 in animal print brocade

Vogue Pattern 1434 by Isaac Mizrahi in animal print brocade

 

I used Vogue 1434 to make this dress. It’s a Vogue Patterns American Designer pattern designed by Isaac Mizrahi:

V1434 Pattern Cover

V1434 by Isaac Mizrahi Pattern Cover

V1434 Line Drawings

V1434 Pattern Envelope Back and Line Drawings

I cut out this dress in a size 14, making a fitting muslin of the bodice first, which took some minor tweaking at the shoulders and bust princess seams, but the fit was pretty great overall. I cut it from a beautiful Italian animal print cotton blend brocade in metallic cream, rose and peach shades from Oscar de la Renta I ordered from Moodfabrics.com:

Oscar de la Renta Cream/Wint/Rose/Peach Animal Italian Cotton Blended Brocade Fabric

Oscar de la Renta Cream/Wint/Rose/Peach Animal Italian Cotton Blended Brocade Fabric

Pattern Cutting the Brocade

Pattern Cutting the Brocade

I had a nice red silk crepe de chine fabric in my stash that was just barely enough yardage to fully line the dress:

cranberry red silk crepe de chine for the lining

cranberry red silk crepe de chine for the lining

The dress was fairly easy to construct with a basic princess seam sleeveless bodice and full pleated skirt and deep pockets, lined by the same pattern pieces for the bodice and different patterned pieces for a gathered skirt lining.

The most time consuming part was making the pleats.

I traced the pleat placement using the handy pleating guide included in the pattern pieces:

Pleat Guide Pattern Piece

Pleat Guide Pattern Piece

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I found that this would have been helpful had all my pleat tracing work had actually shown up and stuck to the brocade fabric once it came time to sew them. Instead, I actually held the guide up to my fabric as I pinned each pleat in place, then carefully basted them down:



Pinned and Sewing Pleats

Pinned and Sewing Pleats

This took the most time and attention, but it was worth the work!

finished dress!

finished dress!

I love how the lining turned out, accept the fact that I didn’t take the time to make French seams on the skirt as the inside of the lining could show my mistake or if anyone looks at it throughly inside and out. Oh well, I might just pink the seam edges so they don’t fray.

Mood Fabrics even sent a little label with the fabric that I sewed into my dress below my Love, Stephanie label. Oh, the little things make all the difference!

Labels Pinned and ready to Hand Sew Into Lining of Bodice

Labels Pinned and ready to Hand Sew Into Lining of Bodice

 

Lining of Bodice with Labels

Lining of Bodice with Labels

this dress is fully lined in red silk crepe de chine

this dress is fully lined in red silk crepe de chine

This dress was a huge hit at the two little holiday parties I went to Saturday, and I plan to wear it to another party on Sunday! I even met a woman who wants to talk to me about making some custom dresses and apparel for her! Plus, friends of mine have been dying for me to make them something custom, and we have some really great project ideas in the works! So exciting!

I was going for a dress inspired by these dresses I pinned on Pinterest:

Eliza J dress at Nordstrom

Eliza J dress at Nordstrom

Lanvin Jaquard Dress

Lanvin Jaquard Dress

It is so very cool to be able to make my own clothes, and then wear them and “sell” my work to others!

The Deep Pockets are Wonderful!

The Deep Pockets are Wonderful!

Love My New Dress!

Love My New Dress!

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and  and Happy New Year to ALL!!! MWAH!!

Colorblock Dress

I busted out this dress, hopefully just in time to make the deadline for the Patternreview Colorblock Contest! If not, no biggie, just a prize gift certificate to my favorite online fabric store, Mood.

There were a bunch of wonderful entries, so I might have come in about 5th place, maybe, with this little dress:

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I saw this dress pattern, Burda 6851:

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on the Simplicity.com website, and thought it was perfect for a color blocked project (I believe my first!), and something I could easily interpret for my needs.

Once I started researching the pattern online (Google, Yahoo Images), with only one other pattern review on Patternreview.com, I found that someone pinned on Pinterest this pattern as an, um, EXACT copy of a Donna Karan dress from her Fall 2015 line, so of course I was even more excited to make this dress!

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This dress was a pretty simple sew. The hardest part was adding the zipper, which was instructed as an invisible zipper, but I chose a semi-exposed, plastic zipper with black trimmed zipper teeth, a black zipper pull, and a clear white plastic zipper tape, as my seemingly cool zipper alternative:

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Well, my cool zipper idea kind of backfired because the zipper is a tad too heavy and stiff for the ponte knit weight, and the ends of the zipper are super plastic-y and won’t behave with the top and bottom seams, thus leaving a bumpy, lumpy and scratchy interior of the zip area. Not great, but a good effort.

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Had I had the time, and sewing buddy to help, or an exact clone of myself to come in handy, I would have “pinched out” at the mid back of this dress to avoid that nasty bubble at the back. I also would have adjusted the underarm weirdness at the dolman sleeve “meeting”:

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As well as lost the trying-too-hard “deer in headlights” look on my face. Really Steph?

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Overall, it was a great dress to sew up in a few days. I may sew it again, I may not, but I really should be making my own patterns at this point, and making them unique.

Oh well! I enjoy letting others do the pattern making (thank you Burda!), and doing the fabric and construction stuff for me, thus my love affair with commercial patterns!

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Tootles for now and see you soon!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Sequin Mesh Strapless Gown

I finished this dress in the nick of time to wear out to the Portland Fashion and Style Awards held at the Portland Art Museum last night.

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

I love simplicity of this style and the slight train on the back of this gown:

Back of gown

Back of gown

Credit must be given to Vogue Patterns for putting out this designer pattern number 2237 from Badgley Micshka. This was a wonderful pattern to sew as it went together fairly simply and was a good learning experience.

V2237 Badgley Mischka gown and bolero

I traced off the pattern on to Swedish tracing paper and made adjustments to the length of the bodice and the skirt. After measuring the pattern and comparing them to my body measurements, accounting for an additional 3″ high heel, I found that I needed to add 2″ to the bodice and 5″ to the skirt portion of the pattern.

I then cut out and sewed up a muslin of the gown as well as the corset for fitting. My lovely friend helped me pin this dress and make notes on the muslin where to take in and let out.

I found this lovely sequin mesh polyester material at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon and thought it had the perfect drape and sparkle for this project.

I got a flesh colored Ambiance lining that matched the color of my skin to line the dress so that it appeared to be see-thru when wearing:

The sequin mesh material was perfect to sew with as it is very soft and the sequins are as well. I was able to sew it without having to remove the sequins from the seam allowances with saved a bundle of time.

I love the scalloped and fringe-like selvedge of the material and was hoping to trim it off and incorporate it into  the dress either at the hem or the top edge, but I ran out of time to do this. I suppose I can go back and add it at another time, or use it for another project. It is just too pretty to toss out!

Here is the muslin and sequin fabric draped on my dress forms:

draped and muslin V2237

sequin fabric draped and muslin pinned to dress forms

The pattern design includes a corset-like under structure that holds up the strapless gown that is sewn into the lining. I added 3 additional boning channels to this at the front and under the bust for added support.

I used a heavier weight muslin for the structure part of the corset and the same lining as the gown to line it. Turned out really great!

I did have to make several fitting adjustments to the outer part of the dress as at first the muslin needed to be let out, but then in the sequin material, which does have a lot more “give” than muslin, I had to take it back in. I had to make fitting adjustments a couple of times actually, in order to get the nice tight fit that a strapless gown requires in order to stay up. Thanks to my part time job doing bridal and special occasion gown fittings and alterations at David’s Bridal, I have learned a great deal about fitting gowns and this knowledge came in quite handy!

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After many hours of fitting and sewing this dress (and leaving off some steps as time was up!), I really love the outcome of the gown and was excited to wear it to the big event! I may go back and make adjustments to the “peaks” of the bodice so that they are a little pointier and less rounded at the top, and the lining drove me nuts all night as it was coming up over the edge of the dress and showing! At least the lining is flesh colored and it was not as noticeable, but I still was not happy with that.

After looking at photos, maybe the bodice was a little too tight as my boobs looked kind of squished. I guess I didn’t realize that I can fake a pretty good cleavage in this kind of dress! Cool!

I was rushing to finish in time (as usual) and sewing on the hook and eye at the back when I was supposed to be on my way to my friend’s house to get ready, but we made it in perfect timing, so it was  all good in the end.

V2237 lining and label

V2237b

black sequin gown from Vogue 2237

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Back of gown

Very good actually!

V2237a

 

And here I am wearing a little hat designed by ElizaBeth Rohloff. She was nominated at the Portland Fashion and Style Awards for Best Accessory Designer, but sadly didn’t win (this time!). It was fun to wear!

V2237 and hat

Off to the event! Bye!

 

 

Draped Back Jersey Dress

I drafted and sewed up this loose fitting draped back dress using the guidance of this blogger Moldesdicasmoda:

Back of draped back dress

It was a fairly simple dress to sew, with just a front, back and back band piece to make.

Pattern from the blogger Moldesdicasmoda.com

Pattern from the blogger Moldesdicasmoda.com

I lowered the front neckline, but I think I took a little too much off as it sits pretty low in front:

Front neckline

Front neckline

I added a little stripy bralette from Free People underneath the top for interest under the drape:

with Free People strappy bralette underneath

with Free People strappy bralette underneath

This is a super comfortable dress to wear as it is an essentially shapeless fit.

Loose fitting dress, but still chic

Loose fitting dress, but still chic

I am quite happy with it overall, and it was a lot of fun to wear to a fashion show in town!

Just throw on some heels and go!

Just throw on some heels and go!

Printed Silk Palazzo Pants

I’m in love with these pants! I made them in a wonderful, silk charmeuse with a big, bold swirly floral print I purchased at Mill End Store in Milwaukie, Oregon a few years ago. I originally bought this fabric to make a maxi dress, but decided that they would make great flowy pants instead.

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I made these using New Look 6271 pattern:

6271These were fast and easy to make. Using my serger to make the side, inseam and crotch seams made it go pretty fast.

I added 3″ to the leg of the pant and another 2″ to the hem. I wanted these to be long and flowy and to have a deep enough hem to weigh down the drape. I think I ended up with 2″ for a hem.

I let the pants hang for a day or two before I hemmed them so that they had time to relax and “grow” if they wanted to.

Pants hanging before hemming

Pants hanging before hemming

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I also made a couple of quick sketches just to practice and to get ideas of tops I could wear with these pants:

Sketch 1

Yup, that's me!

Yup, that’s me!

I love these pants and they are SO comfortable! It has to be a “skinny” day to wear these as they can really make the thighs, butt and waist look just as wide as the pants if you are not careful, or make sure to wear something form fitting on top to balance out the fullness of the pant.

I was going for a summery, beachy look such as these images:

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I will definitely be making more of these pants. Maybe out of linen, a soft cotton, rayon or silk again. I love them!

Adios Amigos!

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Denim Sheath Dress

Denim dress Vogue 8995

This dress was completed just in time to wear to the Pattern Review weekend retreat in Los Angeles back in April 2015. Here is a photo of me and Deepika Prakesh (who is amazing and hysterical!), the founder of PatternReview.com, at the group dinner that weekend.

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

I met so many wonderful sewers and connected with them in a special way. Here is my new buddy Kristin that I also met on this weekend retreat:

With Kristen G.

With Kristen G. at PatternReview weekend in LA

I used Vogue 8995 pattern to make this fitted sheath dress with interesting seams:

V8995

 

I’m always looking out to expand my creativity with commercial patterns. I really consider this denim dress sort of another muslin version, a draft, to see if I like the dress and want to “move forward” with it, creating other dresses from this as standard. So fun! And good sewing practice too!

I really enjoyed making this dress. It took some time and planning, as I originally wanted to add metal studs to the shoulder yoke part of this dress, but then decided that would make it too limiting. I may go back and add the studs though and give it a bit of an edgy look. I did use a metal-look plastic exposed zipper for this dress to give it a little back interest. The dress looks actually kind of flat and the seams are not apparent in this dark fabric. perhaps some top stitching would have been a good idea for this to really help the cool seam lines “pop”. Next time….

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

I made up a muslin and asked my good friend and fashion designer Rachael to help fit it for me. She was great! I definitely will be using her fitting help again in the future!

The dress is made up of a dark wash stretch denim and a stretch silk lining. I serged the fabric edges of each cut out piece of the pattern for both the outer shell of the dress as well as the lining. I use my awesome Baby Lock Imagine serger to overlock and stitch seams as often as I can. It’s a beautiful machine!

I will like to make up this pattern again, but making changes to the neckline, carving it out a bit so that it is not quite so high. Also, I will taper the skirt to more of a pencil skirt.

The opportunity came up to have a photo shoot done at The Nines Hotel, a really lovely, luxury hotel in Portland, Oregon, and I grabbed it! An acquaintance of mine, Gina, has a photography business Afar Photography and wants to expand her portfolio, so asked me if I would like to have some of the clothes that I have made in the shoot. Heck YEA!!!!

Here are some of the great shots she got of me in this dress:

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

Denim dress on bench

Denim close up against wall

Back exposed zip of denim dress

Exposed zip of denim dress

Of course, I have a little bit of fashion inspiration for this sewing project:

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

Red fitted sheath dress

Red fitted sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

I love my new dress and thank my friends for helping me make this a great one!

Denim dress in doorway

Denim dress in doorway